When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to get to take a tour of the Mrs. Baird's Bread factory. I was mesmerized. The smells, the conveyor belts, the slice of warm bread I got to eat, the factory worker with 3 missing fingers because she got too close to the bread slicer. Aaaugh! It's all still so fresh in my mind.
But seriously, a factory tour is an amazing way to spend a few hours on a hot summer day. It's so important for kids to understand where things come from, and it's fascinating to see the people and machines working together harmoniously (hopefully) to create the goods we use every day.
Factory Tours USA is a great website that lists factories that offer tours by state or by category. From teddy bears to motorhomes to cheese to pianos, you'll be shocked to see how many factories offer tours and most are free. You can also call facilities that you know are in your area to see if they offer an inside glimpse of their manufacturing process.